ELYRIA — The Lorain County commissioners agreed Wednesday to help find a way to deal with the noxious weeds, critters and mosquitoes that now infest the former Brentwood Lake in Carlisle Township.
The first step, the commissioners told Brentwood residents who brought the issue to them at their weekly meeting, is to secure permission from the drained lake’s owner, which is Spitzer Hardware and Supply, to go on the property and examine the situation.
Cathy Schuster, director of real estate for Spitzer Management, the parent company of Spitzer Hardware and Supply, said earlier this week that homeowners haven’t contacted the company about problems with the former lake, the ownership of which Spitzer has argued may actually belong to the homeowners association in the development.
Once Spitzer is brought into the conversation, county Administrator Jim Cordes said, the county and township can begin looking at ways to get the weeds under control, level the ground and address the drainage issues that have led to standing water.
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But those solutions probably won’t be able to be implemented until the spring, Cordes said, and couldn’t be done without the approval of Spitzer, he said.
In the meantime, the weed issue should be brought under control by the coming frosts.
Brentwood resident Karen Johnson said it was the pollen from the weeds that led to her beginning a push last month to deal with the problems that plague the roughly 30 homeowners whose properties ring the former lake.
The lake was drained in 2010 after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources ordered the dam that created the lake breeched because of fears it would fail and flood the area. That order followed years of wrangling among Spitzer, the homeowners, the county and the township over how to fix the leaking lake.
Carlisle Township Trustee Berry Taylor said township officials didn’t learn of the current problems at the former lake until September, and Commissioner Ted Kalo said he and other county officials were in the dark until earlier this week.
“Nobody was aware there was still an issue out there, so now we’re looking at it,” Kalo said after the meeting.
Commissioner Tom Williams said he was invited to the trustees’ meeting on Monday by residents and asked them to explain their concerns to his fellow commissioners.
Although some of the symptoms of the problems can likely be addressed by the county, a long-term solution still needs to be hammered out.
Johnson said she would like to see the Lorain County Metro Parks take over the former lake as a park, and county officials said it could also become a wetlands mitigation area. The idea of the homeowners surrounding the lake taking ownership of the property also came up during the discussion.
Assistant County Prosecutor Gerald Innes said a proposal years ago to fix the lake at a cost of $100 per year for each Brentwood homeowner never got off the ground because the residents couldn’t agree on it. He said that could be a problem again.
“Somehow, we have to get the residents motivated to participate,” Innes said.
Johnson said she was encouraged that the commissioners agreed to get involved, but she still has some concerns about what will ultimately happen.
“I do believe there is a win-win solution, if you look hard enough,” Johnson said after the meeting.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or email@example.com.